R142. Writing from the Wound

Marquis Salon 9 & 10, Marriott Marquis, Meeting Level Two
Thursday, February 9, 2017
10:30 am to 11:45 am


Trauma-based nonfiction sells, but at what personal and professional cost? How can we maintain a literary standard when writing about loaded topics such as war, murder, rape, or abuse? How can we resist an impulse towards melodrama, hagiography, and cliché? And is there a point at which the writer must take a break, or even give up? Panelists will discuss how to navigate the world of trauma writing and maintain a high level of craft while telling intensely personal, yet universal, stories.



Kelly Sundberg's essays have appeared in Gulf Coast, Guernica, Denver Quarterly, Slice magazine, the Rumpus, and many others. An essay of hers is anthologized in Best American Essays 2015, and a memoir based on that essay is forthcoming from HarperCollins. She is a PhD candidate at Ohio University.

Carmen Maria Machado is the author of the forthcoming collection Her Body and Other Parties. Her fiction, criticism, and essays have appeared in the New YorkerGranta, NPR, and elsewhere. She’s a graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop and the Clarion Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers' Workshop.

Aspen Matis's essays have appeared in The New York Times, Tin House, and Psychology Today. Her memoir, Girl in the Woods, tells the story of her college date rape and subsequent hike from Mexico to Canada along a continuous wilderness footpath called the Pacific Crest Trail.

Lisa Nikolidakis's fiction and nonfiction has appeared or is forthcoming in Best American Essays 2016, Los Angeles Review, Brevity, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, Passages North, the Greensboro Review, and elsewhere. She is an assistant professor at the University of Evansville.

Hugh Martin is a veteran of the Iraq war and the author of The Stick Soldiers and So, How Was the War? He is a former Stegner Fellow and Emerging Writer Lecturer at Gettysburg College.


February 7–10, 2024
Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City Convention Center